After years of waiting – and a lot of jay-walking – pedestrians near Dawson College are finally getting a crosswalk on de Maisonneuve Boulevard.
The crossing, near Atwater Avenue, is a hot spot for people cutting across the street between the CEGEP and the Alexis Nihon Mall.
Kinga Breining, who has been pushing for the crosswalk, said officials are lucky there hasn’t been a serious accident.
“I don’t want to jinx things,” she said. “It’s not safe but this has been the situation for decades.”
Wednesday marks the first day of school at Dawson College and new students are already using the shortcut.
“Jay-walking through de Maisonneuve is a rite of passage at Dawson,” one student joked.
Students Global News spoke to admitted they jay-walk all the time, rather than walking up the block to a traffic light, crossing and turning back down on the other side of the boulevard.
“I find it very convenient for students because they can go to school right away instead of walk from the corner,” said new student Krista Klahone.
“I definitely think there should be a crosswalk in front of the school.”
“Everyone does [it],” added Megan Samson. “The mall is right there with the food court.”
“It’s easier to just cross over here. It’s faster,” said Louise Jensen.
According to Westmount’s director of public works, Patrick Raggo, it’s just a matter of days before the paint hits the street.
“Within the next week or so, or two week maximum we expect to implement it,” he promised.
There will be a few small changes: two parking spots will be eliminated to make room for the crossing and signs will be added at a later date.
“On a regular basis, you have hundreds of students who cross the street,” he said.
“You don’t have to necessarily go all the way to the intersection. It can be a risk considering there’s quite a bit of traffic here.”
Dawson civil technology students will help with the project.
Russo said it has been a long process, but this start of semester will be the last without the added crosswalk.